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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  January 31, 2013 2:30pm-3:00pm PST

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israeli jets strike syrian territory. damascus that threatens to retaliate. playing defense, president obama's choice to lead the pentagon gets a grilling from his former colleagues. >> to my reference to the surge -- >> were you right or wrong? lts out america's national anthem to prove she has the pipes to do it live. welcome to our viewers on public television in america and around the globe. tonight, syria and iran are threatening to retaliate for an israeli air strike inside of
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syrian territory. the attack took place in the early hours of wednesday morning outside of damascus. the target was believed to be a convoy carrying anti-aircraft weapons bound for hezbollah. we have reports on how this could further inflame the region. >> the explosions are recorded by steering activists seem more powerful than anything the rebels could do. there is a different account of what happens. the government said that planes bombed a military research center between damascus and the lebanese border. they said two people were killed in the raid. u.s. officials say that jets bomb a convoy carrying anti aircraft missiles. >> you will not allow and we will prevent any attacks for
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hezbollah to smuggle such weapons from syria. is israel attacks, it means that such an attempt by hezbollah was made. >> the contagion from the violence in syria worries the whole region. syria sits on the middle east religious and political fault lines. they connect the war to all of its neighbors, whether they like it or not. the war in syria is exporting trouble. its neighbors are seeing a new threats to their security as a result of the slow collapse of the syrian state. this time, israel felt threatened but all of the country sharing borders and some further afield have seen rising tensions and in some places, bloodshed because of the war. international diplomacy is deadlocked. >> that there has been problems
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in the turkish border in recent weeks. there are huge flows of refugees over the jordanian border. many tensions in iraq at the moment. lebanon, many connections to syria. the longer this crisis goes on, the more people that it affects, the greater the danger. >> in syria, the victims of the latest massacre at aleppo have been buried. syria is breaking up before everyone's eyes according to the u.s. peace envoy. with 60,000 dead already, there are renewed fears about what could happen to the regime's advance arsenal, which includes chemical weapons, and how that would affect the whole middle east. >> breaking up before everyone's eyes. i spoke a short time ago with the washington bureau chief al
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arabia. how serious are these threats from iran and syria? >> i think it is mostly buster. bashar al-assad is not in a position to retaliate. his resources are focused toward the domestic rebellion. >> how about iran? >> iran is in no position to retaliate without dragging the whole region into war. they have serious economic problems. they have a crisis in side of the country. they would not be in a position to attack israel. this is bluster. >> how do you read the strikes that the israelis conducted against this target? is israel taking advantage of the unrest to do it needs to do? do they feel nervous about
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what's happening inside of syria? >> this is not surprising. they have been sending signals for the past few days. they have told the americans in jordan and others that if weapons of mass destruction, chemical weapons fallen to the wrong hands or given to hezbollah, then this would be a game-changer. the other thing is that they know as everybody else knows that hezbollah has stored weapons, probably including sophisticated missiles in syria, in the syrian territory. there is concern within the leadership of hezbollah that the regime may fall or lose damascus and the area around damascus. that is why they may be moving these missiles to store them in lebanon. >> how nervous do the israelis need to be about what is happening inside of syria? >> everybody is nervous. the americans are talking to the israelis, jordanians, the turks.
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there are contingency plans. there are reports that the jordanians and americans are training syrian rebels in jordan who might be used in case the u.s. and jordan, maybe israel will be forced to intervene and case chemical weapons fallen to the wrong hand. >> do you see things moving fast on the ground? >> i think that things are moving faster than diplomacy. damascus may fall. there is deep concern in washington that if damascus falls, assad will continue the fight. >> a very tenuous situation in syria. that crisis is high on the agenda of the next defense secretary. chuck hagel was asked about it
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during questioning about his job. there was questioning by john mccain about the surge in iraq. >> or you correct or incorrect when you say it -- when you said that the search would be the most dangerous foreign-policy disaster sense the non? the question is right or wrong. i would like the answer of whether you are right or wrong and then you are free to elaborate. >> i'm not going to give you a yes or no answer. >> let the record show that you refused to answer the question. >> if you would like me to explain, -- >> i actually would like an answer. >> what else did we learn from today's hearing a short time ago?
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he did not do the best job of defending himself. >> no, it was a fractious hearing and pointless. he referred to the government of iran as legitimately elected. he apologized for saying that israel had arranged a slaughter of its enemies. he was defending his views on iran. on israel, they think he is not friendly enough. in the end, i don't think we learned a lot about him, really. in the past, he had expressed traditionally dovish liberal foreign policy positions even though he used to be a republican. he was moving back from those same more of what the republican senators wanted to hear. >> they are learning how fit
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someone it is for the job. >> we learn to really nothing about how he would perform the job, whether he knew stuff. whether he had ideas, what his plans were. all we got was a statement of his position and it struck me that at some exchanges, they wanted to design a gotchsa moment. they were too concerned and pompous. he started to get an answer, they said, we don't want information. >> this is the actress, is a bit. this is the senator's plane to their own -- playing to their own constituents. >> wendy is long statements are played on their local tv stations and when the people that like the things they are saying. -- when the long statements are played on their local television
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stations. i think the deals would have been done behind the scenes. you will get the nomination. they know that. in the end, it is not very enlightening. >> let's have a look at some other news from around the world. a 14-year-old student is in hospital after being shot in the head outside the middle school in atlanta, georgia. a teacher was also wounded suffering cuts and bruises. according to authorities, the suspect has been taken into custody. the "new york times" says that its computer networks have been targeted by hackers and china beginning when it published a story about the committed wealth of the premier.
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the new u.n. report says that israeli settlements in the occupied territories of violate the rights of palestinians. they claim the settlements are systematically driving palestinians off of the land and subjected them to discrimination and intimidation. israel has responded by calling the report and the u.n. human rights council biased. the french defense minister says that three weeks of air strikes have left islamist rebels scattered and disarray. france's military operation to reclaim northern mali has been swift and successful, but the conflict is not over yet. people from the south are joining the battle and many are seeking revenge for atrocities committed during the straight islamist rule. >> ready to die for their country, these young men appear to go home. for months, they have been training in this camp south of
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the front line, bruising over what happened last year. and that is when rebels came to their home in timbuktu. >> they tied up the head of the family and then raped his wife in front of him and then his daughter. >> they have had training. they might be also working with men like him. in his heart, this is something they want to approve of. he would like a vengeance against the hole at the group. >> all of them are rebels or bandits. when we get to the north, they should get out of our way. they are enemies of the state. >> this is a highway that unites
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this area. now, fear has driven away this group that controls the salt trade. they fled to neighboring countries. i ask what they are afraid of. of death, he says. of being killed by soldiers. nearly three weeks ago, just after france intervened, this man saw something he is afraid to speak out openly. the military had arrested three students in islamic dress who had no papers. >> when i got there, the students had their hands tied behind their back. they were on their knees. one of them said, for the sake
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of god, do not kill me. and not the enemy, i'm just a student. one of the military guys said, don't listen to them. they talk amongst themselves and then one said, fire. they shot all three of them in the chest. they drive to them by their feet and threw them into a well. >> you can see the lines of blood going all the way down. some of this has clearly been pushed down to hide the bodies. the government will investigate what happened but it is clear that several wells hold secrets. at the bus station, everyone has heard of the killings but it is hard to find anyone who confesses of seen them. people are afraid of speaking out. how could this happen in molly? for centuries, there were strong centralized states here. its people usually live in
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harmony. they had a function democracy. one of the president's closest advisers said that was a facade that is now cracked. >> molly, although it was showcased as a strong democracy was from the start a failed state. we look at corruption, no discipline in the army, in an army which is one of the poorest in the world. >> the talk today is of liberation. the true test of the intervention will be if they can be reunited. >> finding those islamist rebels and trying to avoid long- term retribution.
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it could be tougher than the french military operation so far. you are watching "bbc world news america," still to come -- 70 years after the sacrifices made at stalingrad, we look back at one of the most brutal battles ever fought. the u.s. navy plans to dismantle the minesweeper that ran aground on a coral reef in the philippine waters. they want to break it up to prevent further damage to a world heritage marine park. there is no anger over the incident. >> the u.s.s. guardian, completely stuck on one of the world's most diverse coral reefs. initially, the americans wanted to save the ship and remove it intact but they now say the best and safest strategy is to break it into pieces. the main priority is to minimize the risk of further damage.
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something the philippine officials have been quick to point out. >> our first goal is to remove that and make sure there is no more damage. >> the reef is a united nation'' world heritage site in the middle of the sea. one of the best diving spots in the world. marine species congregate around the coral. sharks, turtles, and man to raise our of frequent visitors. the world wildlife fund believe that this has caused extensive damage. "from what we have seen, the damage spans over 1600 square meters. so, the research we have conducted has proven that it produces about 200 metric tons of seafood per square kilometer. the destruction of a single square kilometer will greatly
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impaired the productivity. >> the government has asked the americans to explain how the ship ended up of course in such an environmentally sensitive area. they have said they will issue the u.s. navy with a hefty fine, but ultimately the damage has already been done. >> 70 years ago today, the commander of german forces at stalingrad surrendered to the soviet army. that proved one of the turning point of the second world war into the battle is still regarded as one of the most brutal ever fought. as many as a million soldiers are believed to have died during six months of intense urban warfare. this weekend, the city will commemorate the event. we have been talking to some of the survivors.
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>> 70 years since the end of one of the world's bloodiest battles. the memorial remains one of the most symbolic sites in russia. here come close to a million soldiers died in just six months of ruthless combat. a breath-taking german advance into russia had been blocked at stalingrad. hundreds of thousands of men died in a brutal urban warfare as the red army refused to yield. then, once the russian winter set in, fresh soviet forces surrounded the entire army, killing or capturing every man. the german commander was forced into a humiliating situation.
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this man witnessed the surrender, but the images that etched most strongly on his memory are the images of death and a burning river. >> everything was on fire. the bank of the river was covered mixed with human heads, arms, legs. there are the remains of people who were being taken across when they were bombed. >> the scale of the loss of life is almost beyond imagination and it all happened in just a few months. all of these gravestones have the same date of death. i did the end of 1942 or the beginning of 1943. anniversary, 17,000 new names have been carved on the monument including the father of one of them.
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just five years old, she survived the battle by eating clay while living in a my bank. for 67 years, see she -- she searched for her father's body. she discovered it was two miles from her home. >> they have only started setting up plaques now, 70 years after the battle with my generation dying out and buy mother dead. >> the memorial is built on a hill that saw some of the bloodiest fighting. tens of thousands of bodies lying under the frozen earth. among them, fathers and friends of the few remaining survivors to whom the horrors of that battle seven years ago are still very real. >> remembering stalingrad 70 years on. before we go, we want to give you an update from the world of sports tonight. david beckham has joined the french team -- on a five month
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contract. the former england captain said he would donate his salary to a children's charity and took the job in paris after turning down several other officers -- and other offers. in new orleans, the festivities are under way for the superbowl. a short while ago, it was the players to not getting the attention. it was beyonce who was stealing the show. after being criticized for lip- synching at the inauguration of president obama, she hit right back with her powerful voice. >> it was the show stopping moment on a day of political theater. it was not what it seemed. yes, that is beyonce possible is, but she now admits that it was pre-recorded.
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take two was live. an attempt by the senate to make amends and to explain. >> i did not have time to rehearse with the orchestra. it was a live television show and a very very important show for me. one of my proudest moments. due to the weather, due to the delay, due to no proper sound check, i did not feel comfortable taking a risk. >> a multiple choice of explanations and she insisted she had at least some along to the backing track. then, the burning question, would she be singing live at the super bowl? >> i will absolutely be singing live. i am well rehearsed and i will absolutely be singing live. this is what i was born to do. >> determination and redemption. the watching journalists loved
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it. will america agree? >> well, i was there on inauguration day and i thought it sounded pretty good even if it was lips sink. good luck to her, of course. that brings the show to close. you can carry on watching bbc world news and get updates on our 24 hour news network. check your local listings and you will find our number. you can find us on twitter. from all of us here, thank you for watching. do tune in tomorrow. >> make sense of international news at
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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> brown: the president's pick to be the next secretary of defense, former senator chuck hagel, defended his record today and said america must engage-- not retreat-- in the world. good evening, i'm jeffrey brown.
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>> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. on the "newshour" tonight, we excerpt today's confirmation hearing, as republicans sparred with the former vietnam combat veteran about the war in iraq and more. >> brown: then, we have two stories from the middle east, beginning with a dramatic late- night rescue of syrian refugees, fleeing across the border to jordan. >> woodruff: and a margaret warner report about the threat a nuclear-armed iran poses to israel. >> if they accumulate enough uranium which is close to weapons grade, enough uranium which enables them to detonate one nuclear device: to me is clearly a redline. >> brown: former vice president al gore joins us to talk about his new book as well as money, politics and the future of democracy. >> the congress is virtually incapable of passing any reforms unless they first get permission from the powerful special interests. >> woodruff: do americans trust the federal government?


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